Joseph Daul was born on 13 April 1947 in Strasbourg (France). He has been married since 1969 and has two children and five grandchildren. He lives in Pfettisheim, 12km from Strasbourg. Having studied agriculture at the Ecole d'Agriculture (Agricultural College) and the Ecole du syndicalisme agricole (Agricultural Trade Union College), he graduated from the Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale (IHEDN - Institute for Advanced Studies in National Defence) in Paris in 1981.
Professional life and other activities
Joseph Daul comes from a large family (six brothers and sisters) and at the age of 20 he took over a small family farm of 7 ha which he has since managed with his wife and, for the last few years, his son. While the operation has grown to 75 ha, it is still family run and specialises in beef production and the cultivation of sugar beet.
Already very early on in his professional life, he quickly became aware of the importance of becoming involved in public life and voluntary work. Joseph Daul became active in the agricultural trade union movement, through the Centre National des Jeunes Agriculteurs (CNJA - National Centre for Young Farmers), a highly-developed network at local, regional, national and European level.
This experience allowed him to complete his professional training and general education to then very quickly assume responsibilities at national and European level. Thus, in 1976 he was appointed national Vice-Chairman of the CNJA with responsibility for European affairs.
He also became a member of the Committee of Professional Agricultural Organisations (COPA) and of the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels.
At the age of 35 he continued his trade union activities beyond the youth sector and combined his professional life as a farmer with positions of responsibility at a regional, (professional organisations, cooperatives, Chamber of Agriculture), national and European level.
In 1997, when the 'mad cow' crisis arose, he was chair of the National Federation of Beef Producers in France and of the 'beef' group in Europe.
The management of the crisis required diplomacy, perspicacity and faith in the future of the sector in order to juggle with the scientific realities, media impact, the despair of producers and the psychosis among consumers. He contributed greatly to finding solutions together with the national and European authorities to overcome the crisis.
These activities, together with his experience as mayor of his town (1000 inhabitants) served to prepare Joseph Daul to take a more active role in politics when, in 1999, he was asked to represent the farming and rural communities on the RPR list under Nicolas Sarkozy.
He therefore gave up his other functions in order to concentrate solely on his responsibilities as Member of the European Parliament. However, in order to remain in touch with his constituency, Joseph Daul became deputy Mayor in his home town, Vice-President of the Community of Councils and Chairman of the Strasbourg Abattoir Management Cooperative (160 employees).
Responsibilities within the European Parliament
After having been elected in 1999, he naturally joined the EPP-ED Group since it represented his most deeply held European convictions and the values which had always guided his political work.
He became a very active member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, being appointed its chairman in January 2002. Under his chairmanship, the committee contributed significantly to the necessary reform of the CAP in 2003. The committee has since continued to ensure the rigorous implementation of the reform without losing sight of the need for an in-depth review in 2008, with a view to the reform in 2013.
The Committee on Agriculture has sought in particular to reflect on social issues, taking account of the concerns of European consumers and taking a close interest in environmental protection.
During his chairmanship, we have also seen the enlargement of the Union with the accession of 10 new Member States and the preparations for the forthcoming accession of Bulgaria and Romania. The agricultural problems which are specific to most of the new Member States have led to Joseph Daul making numerous trips to meet farmers, their professional representatives and the relevant government departments with the aim of informing and reassuring the agricultural sector and gauging the impact of the reforms and efforts required of them. Joseph Daul was thus able to establish an important network of contacts in these countries.
In 2002, Joseph Daul was appointed chairman of the Conference of Committee Chairmen¸ which is responsible for coordinating 'horizontal' issues affecting the 20 parliamentary committees and for preparing the draft agenda for the plenary part-sessions. As part of the reform of the European Parliament, the Conference put forward proposals for making its work more efficient.
Joseph Daul also co-chaired, together with the committee chairmen concerned, the hearings of the Commissioners and transmitted the conclusions to the President of the European Parliament.
Finally, in 2005 and 2006, he led a new round of negotiations with the Commission on commitology, obtaining some interesting concessions benefiting Parliament.
The 'Lisbon Strategy' Group headed by Joseph Daul carried out the groundwork for the work of the European Parliament and of the national parliaments to promote employment and innovation, an issue which has become a major political priority for the Union. In this connection, Joseph Daul co-chaired two meetings in 2005 and 2006 between the European Parliament and the national parliaments.
As a member of the European Parliament Delegation for the WTO negotiations, Joseph Daul formed part of the European Parliament delegation to the ministerial conferences in Seattle (1999), Doha (2001) and Cancun (2003). He was involved in the preparatory work for the ministerial conferences by regularly meeting ambassadors in Geneva in order to defend the position of the European Parliament.
In January 2007, he was elected Chairman of the EPP-ED Group. He remains member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development and substitute member of the Committee on International Trade and of the Delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.
In June 2009 Joseph Daul was re-elected to the European Parliament and as Chairman of the EPP Group.
He is also chairman of the European Parliamentary Association (EPA), which has its seat in Strasbourg and which aims to help give parliamentary life a more convivial dimension, allowing Members of the European Parliament also to establish contacts in academic, economic and cultural circles.